Haas F1 Team drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean earned strong starting positions for Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix by advancing to the final round of knockout qualifying Saturday at the Hungaroring in Budapest. The duo qualified ninth and 10th, respectively, as the American squad placed both its drivers into Q3 for the fifth straight race and the seventh time this season.
Qualifying took place under treacherous conditions, with a wet racetrack forcing drivers to start on the Pirelli Cinturato Green intermediate tire. However, the track dried enough to allow a switch to slicks, with drivers utilizing the Pirelli P Zero Purple ultrasoft tire for a brief window in Q1 before rain returned and eventually inundated the track. Drivers went back to intermediates in Q2 before switching to Blue full wet tires for the remainder of qualifying.
Grosjean set the seventh-fastest time in Q1 with a lap of 1:17.901 around the 4.381-kilometer (2.722-mile), 14-turn circuit. Magnussen was 10th quickest with a lap of 1:18.314. Both earned their fast times utilizing the ultrasoft tire. Only the top-15 drivers move on to Q2.
In Q2, Magnussen earned the ninth-fastest time with a lap of 1:32.968 and Grosjean followed in 10th with a lap of 1:33.650, allowing each driver to make the top-10 cutoff and advance to Q3. Their fast times were earned on intermediate tires.
The duo maintained these spots in Q3, with Magnussen recording the ninth-best time with a 1:39.858 and Grosjean logging a 1:40.593 to hold down 10th. These times were secured using the full wet tire.
Taking the pole for the Hungarian Grand Prix was Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. His fast lap of 1:35.658 in the final round of knockout qualifying was .26 of a second better than runner-up and teammate, Valtteri Bottas. It was Hamilton’s 77th career Formula One pole, his fifth this season and his sixth at the Hungaroring.
Before Magnussen, Grosjean and the rest of their Formula One counterparts participated in knockout qualifying, they had one final practice (FP3) to dial in their racecars for a quick lap around the track. Unlike qualifying, this session was dry.
Grosjean ran 19 laps and set the ninth-fastest time with a 1:18.084 on his 11th tour. Magnussen tallied 17 laps and also earned his best time on his 11th lap – a 1:18.230 that put him 11th overall.
Quickest in FP3 was Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, whose fast lap of 1:16.170 broke his own track record of 1:16.276 set last year in the final round of qualifying. Vettel’s track-record lap was .059 of a second better than his nearest pursuer, Bottas.